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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 6 February 2014
Date of Publication: 8 March 2014
Inspection Report published 08 March 2014 PDF | 85.33 KB

People should be protected from abuse and staff should respect their human rights (outcome 7)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their human rights are respected and upheld.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 6 February 2014, checked how people were cared for at each stage of their treatment and care and talked with people who use the service. We talked with carers and / or family members.

Our judgement

People who used the service were protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider ensured that staff were trained in how to identify the possibility of abuse and how to respond to it should it occur.

Reasons for our judgement

The provider responded appropriately to any allegation of abuse.

People told us that they felt safe with the service and that they trusted the staff who supported them or their relative. One person told us, “I feel safe when they are there”; another person told us, “He is in safe hands. He is very fortunate”.

The agency had a policy statement which set out the rights of people who used the service to be free from abuse. It also had a safeguarding policy for adults which set out the definition of abuse. Information for staff about what constituted abuse was contained in the staff handbook. However, the provider may find it useful to note that the action that a member of staff should take if they believed that any form of abuse had taken place was not contained in the policy or staff handbook. Nor was the contact details of the local authority. We spoke to staff about their understanding of safeguarding and protecting people. Staff said that they felt confident to report any concerns to the agency manager. They also understood their responsibilities to report allegations of abuse to social services or the police as appropriate if the agency did not act on them.

Training records showed that staff had received training in how to recognise and respond to the signs of any abuse. We saw that there was a rolling programme in place to ensure that all new staff received training in this important area.

The agency did not have a copy of the ‘Multi-agency safeguarding vulnerable adults: Adult protection policy protocols and guidance for Kent and Medway'. This sets out the responsibilities, preventative strategies and good practice for all managers of all agencies caring for vulnerable adults. The agency manager obtained a copy of this guidance during our visit. We spoke to the agency manager about their understanding of their roles and responsibilities in relation to protecting vulnerable adults. The agency manager demonstrated that she understood how to progress any concerns about an adult that staff reported to them. This meant that the agency understood how to report any suspicions of abuse to the relevant authority so that action could be taken to safeguard them.

The agency had a policy statement around whistle blowing policy which said that people who reported the poor practice of someone who was employed at the service were protected, if they did so in good faith. However, the policy was a general statement and it was not evident that it had been adopted by the agency. For example, the policy said, “The agency should make it clear that a worker wishing to voice his/her concern should raise the matter with the named person first, who will deal with the matter objectively”. Staff said that they would contact the agency manager if they had any concerns about the practice of a member of staff and that the agency manger was approachable. This meant that although clear guidance was not in place, staff knew how to report any poor practice in the agency, so that action could be taken to address it.